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The Gospel of Mark #19 - Open Your Eyes to See Jesus

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The Gospel of Mark #19:

Open Your Eyes to See Jesus

Text: Mark 8:1-21

Thesis: To stress the importance of seeing Jesus as the Son of God.


(1)   Sometimes, people just don’t “get it.”  For example, a man once went to a bank to write a check to get some cash.  As he approached the teller, he handed her a blank check.  She informed him that he needed to make out the check and sign it, but he just stared at her.  Therefore, the teller returned the check to the man and informed him that she couldn’t give him any cash.  The man left and went across the street to another bank.  As he approached this teller, the same sequence of events initially took place.  However, as he continued to stare at her, she took him by the ears and banged his head 3 times on the counter and repeated the instructions to him.  He immediately then took out his pen and made out the check and received some cash.  Afterwards, he returned to the first bank and informed the original teller that the other bank had given him money.  She asked, “How?”  He said, “They explained it to me!”

(2)   Today, we will look at a story where people fail to see the obvious.


I.                   The Story:

A.    In the region of Tyre and Sidon, Jesus had cast out a demon in a young girl (7:24-30).

B.     He then departed to Decapolis where he initially healed a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment (7:31-37).

C.     Word got out about Jesus, and a crowd gathered around Him (8:1-9).

1.      As time passed, the crowd became hungry and Jesus is again moved with compassion and wants to feed them.

2.      His disciples fail to understand how He plans to do this (v. 4).

3.      Jesus then proceeds to miraculously feed the multitude with 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish.

4.      This account is similar to the feeding of the 5000, but it also differs in several ways:

a.       With the 5000, the people were with Jesus for 1 day, the 4000 were with Him 3 days.

b.      In feeding the 5000, there was 1 pray, with the 4000, there were 2 prayers.

c.       In feeding the 5000, 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish were used, with the 4000, 7 loaves of bread and a few fish were used.

d.      In 5000, there were 12 baskets of leftovers, with the 4000, only 7.

e.       The 5000 were exclusively Jews, the 4000 were predominantly Gentiles.

D.    After the feeding of the 4000, Jesus and the disciples got into a boat and went to Dalmanutha (8:10-12).

1.      ‘Dalmanutha’ is not mentioned in extant ancient literature and the best guess of its location is the anchorage of the district of Magdala.

2.      Here, some Pharisees began to ‘test’ Jesus and demand a “sign.”

-          “Perhaps the Pharisees are asking for a sign such as God opening the heavens and declaring Jesus to be his son” (Black 146).

3.      Jesus responded to their request by:

a.       First, He “sighed deeply” – This “reflects Jesus’ dismay at being tempted again.  The Pharisees challenge his faithfulness and provoke his irritation” (Garland 307).

b.      Second, He told them that they would receive no sign.

1)      Matthew and Luke record that Jesus did say that the Pharisees would have one sign, the sign of Jonah (i.e., a reference to His coming death, burial, and resurrection).

2)      Yet, beyond this, the Pharisees would receive no other signs.

a)      They had already seen numerous miracles performed by Jesus that clearly demonstrated that He was from God.

b)      Also, “an irrefutable sign would compel faith.  Commitment to Jesus must be voluntary” (Brooks 127).

E.     After this confrontation, Jesus and the disciples get back into the boat on their way to Bethsaida (8:13-21).

1.      For whatever reason, the disciples had forgotten to bring enough bread to eat and they begin to argue among themselves concerning this.

-          One commentator observed: “Why worry and argue over one loaf of bread when you have Jesus in the boat with you?” (Wiersbe 1:137).

2.      Jesus warns them to beware of the “leaven” of the Pharisees and Herod.

a.       “In the Old Testament, leaven symbolized corruption and the infectious power of evil” (Garland 310).

b.      “Leaven has this property, that, however small it may be in quantity, it spreads its influence rapidly through the mass. And so if only a little spark of heretical doctrine be admitted into the soul, speedily a great flame arises, and envelopes the whole man” (from The Pulpit Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2001 by Biblesoft).

c.       According to Luke 12:1, the leaven of the Pharisees was hypocrisy.

d.      “The leaven of Herod may be the influence of the Herodians, which was a spirit of worldliness, an infectious secularism” (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press).

3.      The disciples failed to understand Jesus’ point because they had failed to understand the purpose of Jesus’ miracles.

a.       “Repeated exposure to Jesus’ teaching and mighty works had not led to reflection on their significance but to a basic insensitivity and dullness” (Lane 281).

b.      “Their failure to comprehend can produce a hardness of heart that is tantamount to the declared opposition of the Pharisees and Herod” (Edwards 239).

II.                The Application:

A.    Jesus cares about and provides for our needs.

B.     Jesus has given us enough evidence to produce faith.

C.     Despite the evidence, some people will not believe.

D.    Therefore, we must look at the evidence with an open heart and open our eyes to see Jesus as He truly is.


-    Will you see Jesus as the Son of God and give Him your life today?

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